Nia Tero is a US-based nonprofit organization established in 2017 to work in solidarity with Indigenous peoples who sustain thriving territories and cultures to strengthen guardianship of Earth and all beings. We do not speak for Indigenous peoples – instead we support Indigenous peoples and their leaders in ways that flow directly from Indigenous worldviews. This mission is reflected in our board and staff makeup. More than half of our board members identify as Indigenous; most of our staff identifies as Black, Indigenous, and as other People of Color, with one third identifying as Indigenous.
Nia Tero provides grants to Indigenous organizations to implement their territorial protection and cultural plans to manage their own territories and maintain thriving cultures. In connection with our support, we provide trainings for Indigenous peoples on leadership, policy, and storytelling. We connect Indigenous organizations with experts, NGOs, funders, and policy makers. Read more about our guiding principles.
Nia Tero support to UNIVAJA started in 2018. We provide funding for their priorities, which include strengthening their internal governance and protecting the Javari Valley Indigenous Land, and the Indigenous peoples, from illegal miners, illegal loggers, and illegal fishermen.
It is with deep sadness that we came to know the news of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips’ disappearance in the Vale do Javari on June 5th. They were last seen on the Itaquai river in the far west of Brazil, near the border with Peru.
Bruno Pereira was our friend. He was a brave man with a big heart and a great sense of humor who dedicated his life to protecting Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation, first at FUNAI, and more recently with Univaja in the Vale do Javari. He helped the Indigenous peoples of the Javari create a professional, technically sophisticated, and deeply committed Indigenous patrol corps that was stepping in to protect their lands after the State had abandoned that responsibility.
Bruno was one of the most experienced experts on isolated peoples in the Brazilian Amazon, and understood more than most people the imminent threats posed to Indigenous communities by illegal miners, loggers, fisherman, and organized crime groups. He courageously fought to prevent the corrupt forces invading the constitutionally designated and protected Indigenous land of the Vale do Javari. Bruno loved his work and was deeply appreciated by so many Indigenous and non-Indigenous friends. We mourn his death and offer our deepest condolences to his family, his wife and kids, and to all of his friends.
We did not know Dom Phillips personally. We did know, however, of his honesty, his courage, and his determination to uncover the truth and to share through his words what he had learned. We know that he was committed to supporting the many Indigenous peoples in the Vale do Javari and beyond. We are devastated by his tragic death and offer our deepest condolences to his family and to his many friends and colleagues. Read Nia Tero’s full statement here.
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The crowdfunding campaign in support of the families of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips is now closed after an overwhelming global response. The families have decided to donate part of the proceeds to Univaja, the Indigenous organization that Bruno was working with and Dom was reporting on when they were taken, and are calling for contributions to Univaja as well if you are able. You can learn more and support here.
Keep the conversation online alive. The murders of Bruno and Dom must be investigated, and the perpetrators, including those who ordered the crimes, mush be brought to justice. This will only happen – and will happen faster – if pressure is maintained on the Brazilian authorities. Post and repost updates on the Vale do Javari on social media.